It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane…It’s a Nuby Baby Spoon?

yhst-83333507685311_2001_6357140.jpgHere comes the airplane…zoooooom! Have you every actually said that while feeding your baby and plunging the spoon into her mouth? Well, if you haven’t had the chance, you may not be able to resist when you see these new soft-bite spoons from Nuby. Each set comes with a race-car, bug, train or airplane on the spoon, which I think is irresistibly cute. But what’s even better is that they are BPA, PVC and phthalate-free, which means you won’t have to worry about these types of chemicals leaching out from the spoon into baby’s mouth. All you will have to do is figure out how to get baby to eat from the spoon instead of play with it.

Find It Here: The Soft Landing

Congratulations to Taryn B., winner of a set of Nuby Eating Gear, including a Wacky Ware Bowl, Wacky Ware Utensils, a Nibbler 2pk, and Extra Nibbler Nets!

Haven’t I Seen You Somewhere Before?

wallet.jpgCheck out this bad-ass wallet — made from old truck tires and tractor inner tubes, there’s definitely nothing wimpy about it. Additionally, for those who forego animal products or don’t dig the highly toxic process used to tan leather, it’s leather-free and thankfully, 100% free of nasty plastic leather (AKA “pleather”), too. It would make a great gift for the vegan guy in your life or for a teenager who’s going through that “I hate everything conventional” phase that completely rules out shopping at any mall or department store. Best of all, though, is that it’s made of recycled materials and keeping stuff out of landfills. That alone is reason for me to buy one for my son, who will be able to use it in about, ohhhh, twelve years.

Find It Here: BTCElements

I Heart KIWI Magazine

pjfbig.jpgI don’t usually read parenting magazines – mainly, because I’m too busy actually, you know, parenting, to read them. Plus, to me, parenting mags have always fallen into the “you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em all” category. That is, until I stumbled upon KIWI Magazine. Focused on natural family living, KIWI covers topics ranging from the latest in natural and organic products to social and environmental issues important to families. They also have a keen eye for finding great eco-friendly kids’ clothing, toys and games. I picked up my first issue about a year ago and I was immediately hooked! They even have a companion website with articles, healthy recipes, eco-crafts, an e-newsletter, and some great contests/sweepstakes, plus a site just for kids! You’ll find their print mag in stores nationwide including Barnes and Noble, Whole Foods and Wegmans – or subscribe for just $12/year. Their second annual home issue (May/June) just hit newsstands last week and features topics such as natural cleaners, eco-friendly lawn and pool care, and natural mattresses.

Find It Here: KIWI Magazine

Congratulations to Sharon C. and Elizabeth, winners of a year print subscription to KIWI Magazine!

PVC: Yet Another Toxic Plastic

541.gifUse your consumer buying power to help shift the market away from making and selling PVC (polyvinyl chloride) products by learning how to identify them before buying them. Not only is PVC toxic on it’s own but it can also release dangerous phthalates when chewed on by children (think rubber duckies and teething toys) and has also been found to frequently contain lead. Thankfully, there are alternatives to PVC. Regarding packaging, one way to determine if it is made from PVC is to look for the number “3” inside or the letter “V” underneath the universal recycling symbol. In addition, soft flexible plastic products that are made with PVC often have a distinct chemical-type odor (think new shower curtains and lunch boxes). If you suspect a product or packaging is made of PVC but you’re not sure, contact the product manufacturer or retailer where you purchased the product to ask them about the materials used and be sure to let them know your concerns about PVC.

Find It Here: Center for Health, Environment and Justice

Seeds of Change

pps15394b.jpgPlanting season is upon us and whether you’re just beginning or a “seasoned” pro, Seeds of Change is a great resource for all your certified organic, non-GMO seed needs. Since 1989 they’ve strived to help promote sustainable, organic agriculture and to preserve biodiversity in an ever-changing environment. With over 600 different varieties of traditional and heirloom seeds available, the hardest part might be choosing what NOT to plant. Got kids? You can get them involved with the Children’s Garden Collection of seeds. On the eco tip, Seeds of Change recently switched their seed packs to new, reusable, recyclable envelopes. They have a longer shelf life, can be resealed to store unplanted seed, reused for other purposes, or recycled as #1 plastic. You can order from their catalog, on-line or by phone, as well as sign up for their monthly e-newsletter to keep up with everything that’s happening on at Seeds of Change.

Find It Here: Seeds of Change

Let There Be Light

shake-light-actual.jpgAs someone who went camping just last weekend, I am fully qualified to speak about the complete and total annoyingness of dead flashlight batteries. Kind of makes me wish I’d had a ShakeLight flashlight that requires NO batteries at all. Just shake it for thirty seconds and get twenty minutes of light from an LED lightbulb which will last something like 100,000 hours before it needs replacing. As a bonus, the ShakeLight sports an impressive five-year warranty, is waterproof (look at stuff underwater!) and is also, oddly enough, bulletproof — in case you find yourself in the dark with Dick Cheney 🙂

Find It Here: Greenfeet

Bag Your Greens with Bag Green

phyllis2.pngWhile I dutifully take my reusable grocery bags with me when I go shopping, I still end up taking home plastic bags. Why? Because of all the fruits and veggies I bag with those plastic produce bags! Each time I use one, I cringe. And yet I haven’t had a good alternative – until now. Bag Green’s cute reusable produce bags are the perfect solution to my produce bagging problems! Screen-printed locally in the Seattle area, these bags are the brainchild of stay-at-home mom Heather Hadley of Bainbridge Island, WA whose passion to rid the world of plastic bags led her to start her business. I love the retro designs on her Wilma and Phyllis bags. But what I love even more is that I won’t be bringing home anymore plastic. Considering that I used to bring home at least 5 bags a week, that’s over 200 plastic bags I won’t be using this year thanks to my new best friends, Wilma and Phyllis!

Find It Here: Bag Green

Congratulations to Gina, winner of a 4-pack of Phyllis reusable produce bags!

A Sack of Super Unleaded Coolness

lunchbox.jpgEver since the whole lead-in-lunchboxes news came out a while back, I have been avoiding vinyl (and vinyl-looking) lunchboxes like the plague. Lucky for all of us, there are tons of cool, non-vinyl options for packing a lunch. My latest find for kids’ lunches is this 100% organic cotton lunch sack with a robot design. Created by the mom-owned, Massachusetts-based, fashion and design firm toby + rei, these lunchboxes are definitely cooler than those PVC/vinyl/plastic (insert character name here) lunchboxes for sale everywhere. And as a company, toby + rei is committed to using sustainable materials like bamboo and organic cotton throughout their entire clothing and bedding line. We like that. We like their funky robot lunch bag, too. But fun + sustainable + lead-free? We LOVE that.

Find It Here: toby + rei

Congratulations to Ashley, winner of the pictured lunchbox and a matching organic cotton T-shirt or onesie.

Green Toys = Plastic Fabutastic

teagroup.jpgUnlike with bottled water, there will be no environmental guilt when drinking from this Green Toys tea set. To make their enviro-friendly toys, Green Toys reprocesses plastic milk jugs made of high-density polyethylene, which is known to be one of the safest, cleanest plastics around. In addition to this adorable tea set, other products in this line include an indoor gardening kit, cookware and dining set and a sand play set. Not only are these manufactured in the USA, but they are also packaged in 100% recycled corrugated easy-to-open boxes with absolutely no plastics, cellophane or those horrendous twist-ties that can turn the sanest of parents into raving lunatics. And, as if those packaging virtues weren’t reason enough to love Green Toys, consider that their toys are Bisphenol-A and phthalate-free, as determined by third-party testing conducted in the United States. Kind of makes you wonder why they don’t make all plastic toys this way…

Find It Here: Green Toys Inc.

New Mamas (and Babies) Deserve Pampering

010.jpgAt almost every baby shower I’ve ever attended, the mom-to-be receives what seems like fifty zillion packages of newborn onesies. They’re nice to have, for sure, but original? Not so much. If you’re trying to find a unique gift idea for a baby shower, then check out these baby shower gift baskets by Love & Blessings. Started by mom of twins Victoria Loveland-Coen, Love & Blessings was founded with the philosophy of “nurturing the nurturer and caring for baby naturally, while lessening the toxic impact on our environment.” We love her philosophy and love her gift baskets even more! Individually crafted and assembled, each gift basket offers a unique selection of hip, earth-friendly products to nurture mama and baby. My personal favorite is The Ultimate Baby Bonding Gift Basket, which comes with a baby bonding book, baby bonding audiobook with guided relaxation, a nursing shawl, burp cloth, some Earth Mama Angel Baby products (all rated well on the Cosmetic Safety Database), and a little baby elephant rattle. You even customize your own gift basket if you want. Just choose the size basket you’d like, then shop their store for the perfect items to include. They will assemble the basket and ship it to you. It doesn’t get much any easier than that! And with plenty of natural, organic products to choose from, you’re only problem will be trying to figure out what not to put in your basket.

Find It Here: Love & Blessings

Congratulations to Kristinia, winner of a New Mama Nurture Basket by Love & Blessings worth more than $100! 

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